dcsimg
HomeA-Z Program Guide → Top Online CAD Schools (Computer Aided Design)

Top Online CAD Schools (Computer Aided Design)

Top Online CAD SchoolsComputer-aided design software and now computer-aided drafting and design software, commonly called CAD or CADD programs, enable mechanical and architectural drafters to prepare technical plans for any number of engineering projects. The software allows the technical plans to be programmed in to automated manufacturing systems. Some programs, such as building information modeling and product data management programs, allow the tracking of the project’s data and control of its progress by shared designers. These programs also allow multiple project members to collaborate on a project’s design simultaneously.

Drafters, also known as CAD/CADD operators, are responsible for making architects’ or engineers’ drawings possible. They convert the designs of engineers and architects into technical drawings and plans complete with measurements, analysis and costs. These plans provide the detailed, visual instruction for every step of the project.

Cad Cadd Computer Aided Drafting Design

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS.gov, 2012), an associate degree program could prepare students for a potential career as a drafter or an apprentice drafter. Although some schools do not offer bachelor’s degrees in drafting, they do provide classes in drafting, as well as degrees in engineering—where the use of CAD is important.

U.S. News & World Report has compiled a list of their top online engineering schools based on student engagement and accreditation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recommends an education in engineering or architecture for aspiring drafters and, in turn, these schools could be potential resources for students desiring to learn CAD/CADD software or prepare for a profession in drafting or engineering. The following schools are U.S. News & World Report’s top online engineering schools, ranked in 2012:

1.  University of Wisconsin, Madison
2.  Lawrence Technological University
3.  Pennsylvania State University, University Park
4.  Texas A&M University, Kingsville
5.  Polytechnic Institute of New York University
6.  California State University, Northridge
7.  Florida Institute of Technology
8.  Mississippi State University
9.  Ohio State University, Columbus
10. University of Arizona

Below are some of the drafting focuses available from online schools and colleges through SchoolsGalore.com

According to the BLS (BLS.gov, 2012), drafters are increasingly relying on computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) software to perform their jobs and the bureau recommends current drafters gain experience with these new systems as the software will play a larger role in the profession during the coming years.

Additionally, the BLS (BLS.gov, 2012) notes that because of the reliance upon CADD software for performing the job, many technical institutes may offer software certificates or associate degrees focusing on the fundamentals of design and sketching in addition to CADD software.

The median annual wage for drafters, according to the BLS, was $49,200 nationally in 2011, with the top ten percent earning $77,110 nationally and the bottom ten percent earning $32,260 nationally in 2011 (BLS.gov, 2012). Employment is projected to grow up to six percent between 2010 and 2020 (BLS.gov, 2012).

Learn more about accredited drafting programs from online schools and colleges through SchoolsGalore.com

When researching online colleges and universities, make sure to verify that your choice of school is accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council or by another accrediting agency that approved by The U.S. Department of Education or The Council for Higher Education Accreditation, or both. DETC and CHEA both provide a searchable list of approved schools.

For schools offering degrees or certificates in drafting, verify that your school has been accredited by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation, which provides a search tool for locating accredited schools.

Sources and further reading:

O*Net Online

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA)

The U.S. Department of Education (USDE)

The National Architectural Accrediting Board

American Society of Landscape Architects

Design Intelligence

Online CAD Schools

    Searching Searching ...

    Matching School Ads
    • Study at a university accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges, Inc.
    • Immediately apply what you’re learning to current workplace challenges
    • Experience the convenience and flexibility of online learning—access coursework 24/7
    • Take advantage of four start dates per year
    • Benefit from no required GRE/GMAT 
    • Enjoy small class sizes and students from diverse backgrounds
    • Earn your degree from a respected institution in as few as 18 months
    Show more [+]
    • Accredited
    • Online Courses
    • Financial Aid
    • Transferable Credits
    • Ranked among top Regional Universities in the South by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
    • Ranked 37th among the Best Colleges for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report in 2015.
    • Stands as the largest private, nonprofit university in the nation with 100,000+ students.
    • Offers over 230 programs online, from the certificate to the doctoral level.
    • Has a student-faculty ratio of 25:1, and 42.3% of its classes have fewer than 20 students.
    Show more [+]
    • Accredited
    • Online Courses
    • Financial Aid
    • Transferable Credits
    • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor's Programs in 2014 by U.S. News & World Report.
    • Implements a one-to-one teaching model, partnering one student with one faculty member in each course.
    • 100% of faculty members hold doctoral degrees.
    • No physical residency requirements, allowing students to pursue their degree online.
    • Committed to innovation, diversity, excellence, and accountability since its founding in 1996.
    • Offers several programs in business, education, psychology, and more.
    Show more [+]
    • Online Courses
    • Financial Aid
    • Transferable Credits
    • Ranked among the Best Online Bachelor’s Programs in 2015 by U.S. News and World Report.
    • Lets undergrad students try classes before paying any tuition.
    • Has an average class sizes of 18 for undergraduate and 13 for graduate-level courses.
    • Offers numerous scholarship opportunities that can help students save up to $750 per term on their tuition.
    • Tends to educate degree-seeking online and campus-based students who are adult learners with families and students who work while pursuing higher education.
    Good for Working Adults
    • Online Courses
    • Flexible Scheduling
    • Financial Aid
    • Transferable Credits